Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Akrasia and moral education
Author: Straughan, Roger Ralph
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1977
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Recent approaches to moral education have tended to emphasise the development of moral reasoning rather than the performance of moral actions. The logical relationship between the formation of moral judgments end their translation into action, however, cannot be ignored within the context of moral education; but equally it cannot be fully and properly explored in isolation from wider, philosophical issues. Akrasia, or "weakness of will", has generated a cluster of classic, philosophical problems concerning whether it is possible for a man to fail to do what he sincerely believes he ought to do (given the ability end opportunity), and how apparent examples of this phenomenon should be interpreted end explained. The denial of the logical possibility of akrasia, as represented by the arguments of Socrates and Hare, is considered in Chapter II and found to be unconvincing. The concepts of "ought" and of "conscience" are analysed in Chapter III and shown to possess features which provide sufficient grounds for believing that akrasia both can and does occur. More precise criteria for akrasia are proposed in Chapter IV, and a number of common explanations are examined in the light of these criteria. A particular interpretation of akrasia is developed in Chapter V as a special case of doing x rather than y because one wants to do x rather than y, and three central, explanatory features of akrasia are picked out, involving dishonesty, language and immediacy. Finally this analysis and interpretation is applied to the particular concerns of moral education. Children as well as adults are shown to be capable of akrasia; various general approaches to and specific methods of "teaching morality" are reviewed as possible means of combatting akrasia in children; and the three explanatory factors are used to suggest ways in which children may be encouraged to act upon their moral judgments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available